And Now We Have Everything: On Motherhood Before I Was Ready by Meaghan O’Connell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Published: April 10th, 2018
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Recommended Age: 15+
Genres & Themes: Adult, Memoir, Non-Fiction, Parenting, Childbirth, Relationships
And Now We Have Everything is O’Connell’s brave exploration of transitioning into motherhood as a fledgling young adult. With her dark humor and hair-trigger B.S. detector, O’Connell addresses the pervasive imposter syndrome that comes with unplanned pregnancy, the second adolescence of a changing postpartum body, the problem of sex post-baby, the weird push to make “mom friends,” and the fascinating strangeness of stepping into a new, not-yet-comfortable identity.
If you’re wondering if this book can be enjoyed by people who have not given birth – why, yes, it can! I haven’t and found this to be so interesting I am now actively looking for other memoirs such as this one (though perhaps a little more uplifting this time around).
I first noticed this book after reading a popular reviewer’s review of it and immediately requested it. I am constantly looking for original reads, and because I’d never read about pregnancy and motherhood before, I had a feeling this one would be a breath of fresh air.
It’s not as though I thought I knew everything (at only 21) about the experience of giving birth and caring for a baby, but I’ve seen enough Grey’s Anatomy episodes to at least assume some things. Boy was I wrong to do that. Granted, O’Connell’s experience was mostly negative—not all women have complications—and the aftermath hard on her (even though she loves her baby), but you do gain insight regardless.
Honestly, now I have to read a book about someone who gave birth easily because this is so honest and raw and anti-sugarcoating that it has turned me off getting pregnant in the future. I loved it—it’s well written, different and a page-turner—but I can’t possibly look at childbirth without wincing right now. It’s terrifying. O’Connell literally wanted to die from the pain, whereas everyone in the room was looking at her like it was all normal. I wanted to punch the doctor and interns on her behalf! Her fiancé too.
But, again, the author does say everyone’s experience is different and proves this to us via her interactions with a new friend she makes. Just… maybe don’t read this book if you’re about to give birth yourself? Not for the faint of heart either.
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Love the review, I will try and find the book to read it .
If you’re interested in books on childbirth, give the books below a read. I did my master thesis on the social aspects of postnatal depression and these books were full of information and also easy and more or less enjoyable to read (not including the cringing parts and the parts where you just want to murder the opposite sex :D)
“Get Me Out: A History of Childbirth from the Garden of Eden to the Sperm Bank” by Randi Hutter Epstein – loved this one!
“Shattered: Modern Motherhood and the Illusion of Equality” by Rebecca Asher
“The Conflict: How Modern Motherhood Undermines the Status of Women” by Elisabeth Badinter
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Thanks for the recs! I am looking them up on Goodreads as we speak :))